Salons, gyms, libraries given go-ahead to re-open as Vermont Covid-19 infections rise by 23

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As Vermont continues to “loosen the spigot,” in Gov. Phil Scott’s words, the state Department of Health on Friday confirmed one new case of Covid-19, bringing the state total to 975, an increase of 23 in the last week. The state also announced that another person has died from the virus, bringing the number of Vermont deaths to 55.

Salons were given the go-ahead to open as of Friday, May 29. Photo by cottonbro from Pexels. Cover photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels.

Also, Vermont went several days with no patients hospitalized with confirmed Covid-19 status. But now, one person is hospitalized with the virus and 13 who are hospitalized are suspected of having the illness, a slight increase from last week.

During this past week, Windsor County has seen an increase of two cases for a total of 51. Two Windsor County residents have died since the beginning of the pandemiv. Windham County saw an increase of one, for a total of 81 cases. There have been three deaths among Windham County residents.

A small cluster of cases has been identified in Winooski, and the state is coordinating testing and services within this population but offered no other details.

More business sectors will be allowed to reopen with new regulations to continue to contain the virus. Salons and barbershops were allowed to reopen today, Friday, May 29 by appointment and with limited capacity.

On Monday, June 1, dental offices can begin to offer all procedures, some of which had been restricted. In addition, outpatient medical services such as mental health professionals, drug and alcohol counselors, naturopaths and other health services with limited physical contact can also open.

Each sector must adhere to strict health and safety guidelines outlined by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, which can be found here. A customer log must also be maintained for contact tracing, should it be necessary.

Gyms and other ‘close contact’ businesses can reopen beginning June 1. Photo by Pixabay.

Also able to restart as of Monday, June 1, are close contact operations such as gyms, indoor fitness centers, nail salons, massage therapists, tattoo parlors and spas, as well as in-home services such as routine maintenance services and home cleaning. Services must be by appointment only.  Also allowed to reopen on Monday are indoor arts, culture and entertainment venues such as libraries, galleries, museums and theaters.

All must allow only 25 percent capacity and adhere to social distancing when possible.

And June 1 will also usher in a hike in the number of people allowed for social gatherings, which will increase from 10 to 25 people, but this does not increase the number or percentage of occupancy for retail or lodging sectors.

On Sunday, June 7, the state is launching a pilot program to allow out-of-state visitors for overnight summer camps and limited residential summer college programming.

The previously required 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors has been softened, now allowing for quarantining to happen in home prior to travel, or while camping with testing after seven days. Other restrictions such as not stopping when driving to the destination and limited visitors are also in place. Detailed guidelines are available here. According to Scott, out-of-state tourism is a priority for the state and the pilot program will inform the administration on how and when to welcome more tourists.

Earlier his month, Scott cancelled all festivals, county fairs, field days and other outdoor festivals for the summer.

Testing of asymptomatic residents continues

For several days last week, since it has allowed asymptomatic Vermonters to get tested, the state tested more than 1,000 people per day, a goal it has striven for since testing began.

According to the Department of Health, 31,885 people in Vermont have been tested to date.

An additional pop-up Covid-19 testing date has been added for Springfield on Tuesday, June 2 with space still available. The testing site is located at 303 South St. in Springfield.

The state is encouraging health-care workers, first responders and child care providers to get tested. People who are returning to the state, who will be at day seven or later in their 14-day quarantine period can also be tested. Registration is required. To sign up for a location near you, including the Springfield site, click here. Open times are listed in green under the date.

For more statewide details on Covid-19 information and resources, click here.

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